A frequent inquiry from orthodontic patients revolves around the compatibility of braces with chewing gum. Although steering clear of sticky, chewy, and hard foods is advisable during orthodontic treatment, indulging in gum is not entirely off-limits. This article delves into the considerations, challenges, and advantages associated with chewing gum while wearing braces.
Is Chewing Gum Permissible with Braces?
Traditionally, orthodontists discouraged the act of chewing gum for individuals with braces. The primary concern was the gum’s sticky nature, posing a risk of getting lodged between brackets and wires. Additionally, if not approached with caution, gum-chewing could potentially bend wires, adversely affecting the duration and efficacy of orthodontic treatment. Bent wires present a serious issue as they may lead to improper teeth alignment.
The challenges associated with chewing gum extend to its interaction with bands. Gum has a tendency to entangle itself with rubber bands, creating a messy and adhesive situation. Moreover, if one attempts to remove rubber bands while chewing gum, it could result in prolonged braces wear. This careful consideration is crucial to maintaining the smooth progress of orthodontic treatment.
Are There Advantages to Chewing Gum with Braces?
Contrary to the traditional stance that strictly prohibited gum consumption for individuals with braces, modern orthodontics acknowledges certain benefits associated with chewing gum. One notable advantage is the stimulation of saliva production, contributing to the neutralization and removal of plaque and food particles. In fact, a randomized controlled trial featured in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics discovered that chewing gum can potentially alleviate the discomfort associated with the process of getting braces put on.
Can I chew gum with Invisalign?
Is it Safe to Chew Gum with Invisalign?
Invisalign, employing transparent and removable aligners to correct tooth alignment, necessitates their removal before eating or drinking. Chewing gum while your aligners are in place may lead to sticking issues. However, it is permissible to enjoy gum when the aligners are removed. It’s crucial to adhere to the recommended wearing schedule of approximately 20 hours a day, as excessive removal can impede progress and extend the overall treatment duration according to your orthodontist’s guidelines.
Is There an Ideal Gum for Braces?
Whether you have braces or not, opting for sugar-free gum is recommended. Sugar-containing gum poses risks such as tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Similar to food, gum particles can become lodged between your teeth, fostering the growth of bacteria. Choosing sugar-free alternatives helps mitigate potential dental issues, ensuring better oral health while wearing braces.
What should I do if gum gets stuck in my braces?
Encountering gum stuck in your braces requires careful handling. Begin by gently using a soft toothbrush to remove as much gum as possible. Avoid applying excessive force, as this could potentially damage brackets or wires. Subsequently, employ dental floss to dislodge any remaining gum particles. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or warm water to eliminate residual fragments.
While the optimal practice is to refrain from chewing gum with braces or Invisalign, you can still do so cautiously. Opt for sugarless gum, limit chewing time to a few minutes after meals, and ensure thorough brushing and flossing afterward. If you do find gum lodged in your braces, inform your orthodontist. They can assess for any wire misalignment and address any lingering gum remnants in your brackets.
Is it OK to chew gum with braces?
Chewing gum alongside braces is feasible, provided you adhere to specific considerations. Choose sugar-free gum without any orthodontically harmful ingredients. Brands like Orbit sugar-free and Trident sugar-free are exemplary choices.
How can I chew with braces?
What shouldn’t I eat with braces?
Choosing the Right Diet with Braces
When it comes to maintaining your braces, it’s essential to be mindful of your diet. Here’s a breakdown of foods you should and shouldn’t consume:
Foods to avoid with braces include:
- Potato chips
- Crunchy veggies
- Hard candies (like jolly ranchers or lollipops)
- Gum (Sugar-free gum is acceptable)
- Sticky candies (such as laffy-taffy or gummy bears)
- Corn on the cob
What can I chew instead of gum?
If you’re craving the satisfying chewiness of gum, explore these flavorful, breath-freshening alternatives that are not only enjoyable but also won’t stick to your teeth or contain excessive sugar:
- Licorice: A divisive treat—either you love it or you don’t.
- Parsley: More than just a garnish, parsley serves as nature’s remedy for halitosis.
- Organic Mints: Opt for mints with natural ingredients to keep your breath fresh.
- Water: Staying hydrated not only benefits your overall health but also helps combat dry mouth.
- Ginger: Satisfy your craving with the natural spiciness of ginger.
Choose these alternatives for a refreshing and satisfying chewing experience without the drawbacks of traditional gum.